The Massachusetts Bar Exam is one of the last steps that you will need to take to practice law in this state. It only lasts two days and it is made up of only 210 questions, however, it will take you four to six months to prepare to take this test. This article will go over the qualifications that you need to meet to sit for the Massachusetts Bar Exam, where to find registration information, what topics to study, and where you can find free study materials. You can use this article as a guide for developing your own study plan for the Massachusetts Bar Exam.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE MASSACHSETTS BAR EXAM
To qualify to sit for the Massachusetts Bar Exam you will need to have a law degree from an ABA approved law school. The Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners will have a list of approved schools. You can also visit their website to see the requirements that pertain to attorneys from other states.
In addition to the above educational requirements you will also need to pass a background check. This background check will examine your criminal and financial records. It will also evaluate your moral character. You will be required to provide the Board of Bar Examiners with all of the necessary materials needed for them to make a comprehensive evaluation of your situation. This may include letters of reference and various release forms.
Finally you will need to take the Multistate Professional Responsibilities Exam. To meet this prerequisite you will need a score of 85. This is one of the highest required scores in the country, as most states require a MPRE score of 80, and some only require a score of 75.
REGISTERING FOR THE EXAM
To register to sit for the Massachusetts Bar Exam you will need to download, print out, complete, and submit an application package. These can be found on the Massachusetts Board of Law Examiners’ website.
Board of Bar Examiners
77 Franklin Street
Boston, MA 02110
(617) 482-4466 Local Phone Number
THE EXAM’S FORMAT
The Massachusetts Bar Exam is a two day event that is given in Boston and Springfield during the last week of February and during the last week in July. On the first day of the Massachusetts Bar Exam you will take the Multistate Bar Exam. This exam is a 200 multiple choice exam that covers general legal issues and topics. On the second day of the Massachusetts Bar Exam you will be given ten Massachusetts State Law Essay Exam questions. To pass this exam you will need a composite score of at least 270 points.
WHAT TO STUDY
On the first day of the Massachusetts Bar Exam you will be required to take the MBE. As mentioned earlier, this exam is made up of 200 multiple choice questions. To prepare for this exam study the following topics:
1. Constitutional Law
2. Contracts and Sales
3. Criminal Law and Procedures
5. Real Property
If you would like a study guide for this section you can visit the NCBE website at http://www.ncbex.org/.
On the second day of the Massachusetts Bar Exam you will take your essay examines. These questions will relate to how laws are interpreted in the state of Massachusetts, as well as in the rest of the United States. To help you study for this section of the Massachusetts Bar Exam you can download past essay questions and answers. The link to this information is provided below.
When you begin studying for the Massachusetts Bar Exam make sure that you not only study state statutes, but that you also practice legal writing and composition. The topics that are generally covered during the Massachusetts Essay Exam include:
1. Massachusetts Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure
2. Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure
3. Massachusetts Rules of Evidence
4. Massachusetts Code of Professional Responsibility
5. Conflict of Laws
6. Constitutional Law
9. Creditors’ Rights
10. Criminal Law
13. Wills and Trusts
15. Family Law
17. Real Property
18. Statute of Frauds
19. Statutes of Limitations
20. Federal Income Taxation
22. Uniform Commercial Code
For a study materials please check out the following links:
1. Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedures located at http://www.mass.gov
2. Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedures located at http://www.mass.gov
3. You can find sample essays and answers, as well as study guides and general information at http://www.mass.gov/bbe/essayquestions.htm
4. Uniform Commercial Code located at http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/ucc.table.html